Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)
Ollie Pope‘s comeback to Test cricket with a mature knock against India on Day 2 of the Oval Test impressed Michael Vaughan. Ollie Pope’s 81, top-scoring for England, helped them take a handy 99-run lead in the decisive fourth Test.
Ollie Pope came to the crease on Day 2 when England teetered at 53-4. The 23-year old shared significant partnerships with Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali to prevent an early collapse. But Pope missed out on a well-deserved ton, edging to the stumps off Shardul Thakur.
Speaking at the Test match Special, Michael Vaughan hailed Pope, saying that he crafted a world-class knock. The former England captain particularly remembered his hundred in South Africa in 2020. But Vaughan thinks this innings qualifies Pope as a superstar for the future.
“He has been sporadic in Test cricket. That is the first time I’ve watched him and thought ‘there is a player of sheer class in Ollie Pope’. He played beautifully. I have seen Pope play some nice knocks, particularly that hundred in South Africa. We haven’t seen enough in matches or behind the scenes to suggest he is a superstar in the making, but from what I saw today he could be,”
It is bittersweet, but I’m happy with my contribution: Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope struck six boundaries in his 159-ball knock. (Credits: Twitter)
Despite top-scoring, Ollie Pope told BBC Sport that he wasn’t happy with his dismissal. The Surrey batsman, swapped for Jos Buttler for the fourth Test, hopes to build on this knock to restart his good run.
“I was pretty gutted when I got out. I worked hard. I felt really good and was disappointed with the shot I played to get out. It is bittersweet, but I’m happy with my contribution. Hopefully I can build on today and it’s just the start of a good run. I’m going to do everything in my power to get right to the top of my game,”
Pope and Chris Woakes were the only English batsmen to make half-centuries as England reached 290. India reached 43-0 in 16 overs by the close of day two, still trailing by 56 runs.